“The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means.” GEORGE BERNOS
By Alex P. Vidal
Filipino police generals caught in a Russian airport carrying large amount of cash during a junket in Moscow didn’t pass through the proverbial eye of the needle when they were allowed to have cash advance in millions from government.
In most of their trips abroad, high-ranking government officials could even tag along their mistresses if not their wives or entire family, and managed to charge their expenses to the taxpayers.
They could avail expensive hotels, salubrious meals, and pocket money for shopping and pasalubong at the expense of the taxpayers (there are always thousands of ways to skin a cat when it comes to liquidation report. Attention Commission on Audit).
There is a big disparity and double standard when it comes to access to public funds. Any abusive police, military or civilian officials can easily avail of exorbitant cash advance from government while our athletes, who give the country glory and fame, always settle for leftovers and crumbs, if not forced to beg like famine-stricken street waifs and abandoned tots.
By the time this article comes out, we presume that Philippine organizers of the Little League Asia-Pacific (age category 12-13) were able to produce the needed amount for the trip of our contingent to the World Series in Portland, USA on August 7-14.
The Philippines, as Asia-Pacific and Middle East Tournament winner, will be represented by softbelles from Zarraga, Iloilo.
It was reported over the weekend that team coach Reynaldo Fuentes was still groping in the darkness where to find at least P600,000 to help defray for the expenses to be incurred during the trip. Since the tournament will be hosted by the United States, it is expected that the girls will be given proper board and lodging during their week-long stint.
The team automatically gets at least $20,000 from organizers of the 2013 Little League Softball World but Fuentes, a veteran of many World Series, claimed the amount is not enough. He was described to be “having sleepless nights” these past days because of the financial shortage.
Fuentes’ woes came days after the team, which recently earned the berth to the World Series by topping the tough tournament in Tanauan, Batangas representing the Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVRAA), paid a courtesy call to Gov. Art Defensor Sr. at the provincial capitol. Both the provincial government and the municipality of Zarraga have launched fund-raising drive for the team.
It’s a disgrace that we have to always hear or read depressing stories like this one each time a team–especially from outside Imperial Manila–is scheduled to compete in a gigantic sporting event abroad. Where have all the funds for sports gone? What’s the use of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) or the president’s social and sports fund when they can’t even assist a tiny baseball team that will carry our flag to a global competition?
Must a softball team that will compete against the world’s best Little League kids endure humiliation of desperately raising funds in the eleventh hour just to be able to leave the country when they are supposed to be already revving up and doing body and mind conditioning for the gigantic event?
Since time immemorial, we haven’t corrected this abnormality in the system. Every now and then we hear and read the same predicament of our athletes badly beaten psychologically and emotionally in their own homeland even before they could leave and take part in actual competition.
When our athletes come home bringing the bacon and other evidence of gallantry and heroism abroad, who do we usually see in the front seats of publicity sharing if not grabbing credits? The thick-faced politicians who did not lift a finger to help when help was most needed, but are quick issue statements in media and pose for newspaper and TV.